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Education Official Apologizes for Ethics Violation

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio's leading education official has issue a public apology after a state watchdog found that he lobbied for a Texas-based standardized testing firm last year while on the company's payroll.

Superintendent Stan Heffner said he had shown bad judgment and would accept whatever punishment the Ohio Board of Education deems necessary.

Heffner's statement followed Inspector General Randall Meyer's finding Thursday that Heffner had a signed employment agreement with Educational Testing Service in May 2011 when he advocated use of the company's tests in the Ohio Senate. Heffner ultimately rejected the job in favor of a promotion to Ohio superintendent.

The probe found Heffner used his state email, phones and staff to pursue the Texas job.

The chair of the state school board said the panel will discuss discipline in September.